In this day and age, we are constantly accumulating new things—clothing and shoes, the next best thing in technology, and that ‘had-to-have’ decorative household item. So to avoid having a household full of items that I no longer use, I’m always on the look out for items that I can donate, recycle or throw away.
This week’s focus has been on the first of the three—donations and specifically, the shoe category. While I’m generally good about earmarking clothing for donating, I realized (after sifting through the three shoe baskets we have in our home and my closet) that I rarely find the time to go through my shoes.
I decided to challenge myself to try to narrow down my collection. Would it be possible to fill a brown grocery bag with one purge?
After a relatively short bit of time, I realized that this challenge was going to be a lot easier than I had expected (and no that’s not because I filled my bag with boots!).
The Shoe That Never Really Fit: Chances are you have this type of shoe in your closet. It’s the one that caught your eye in the store, but in all honesty it never really quite fit. You got it home, and wore it around the house and for a few outdoor outings in the hopes that you’ll “wear it down” to comfort. Unfortunately, this rarely ends up happening, and so after a trial period, it’s likely time to pass it on.
For me, this was this adorable gold and white summer loafer. I purchased it last summer and sadly, it just never quite fit. I held onto it hoping that somehow it would morph into a new (and more comfortable, I may add) shoe…but alas not.
The Shoe/Flip Flop That You Have Too Many Of: If you live in California, you could likely fill a dedicated container with flip flops. A fun Haviana is a completely different look from your sturdy Rainbow. Flip flops come in all kinds of colors and materials, but it’s likely that most California shoe racks could shed a few flips.
I was able to locate two pairs (from the multitude that I have) that I haven’t worn in ages. They were still in great shape and fit for the donation bag.
The Shoe You’re Saving for a Rainy Day: Ever have that conversation with yourself of: “Well maybe I’d wear it if I was….” Maybe it’s a shoe that has lost its luster or is starting to show signs of wear. However, you love it so much that you aren’t willing to part with it, but rather would prefer to retire it gradually.
For me, this most often comes in the form of my athletic shoes. When a shoe starts wearing down, I keep it on the shelf in my office or in the trunk of my car…just in case I need to pull them out. While it’s good to keep a pair (or maybe two) as a back-up for a mud run, that’s about all you need.
The Shoe That Was a One Hit Wonder: This shoe is the one that was purchased for a singular purpose. Maybe it was a wedding that you were in where the bride wanted all the bridesmaids to have matching kicks or maybe you were involved in an activity that requires certain footwear.
For me, this was my beloved indoor cycling shoes. Last year, I got really involved in a spin/indoor cycling studio and ended up purchasing special Shimano shoes. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a new local studio and have thus moved on to other fitness activities, but I’m hoping they will get some good use with someone else.
Bottom line – challenge accepted and prevailed! After a little self-talk, I was able to narrow my show racks down a bit, and came away with a full bag of kicks that I hope will find better use with someone else.
Do you have a certain “shoe strategy” that helps you narrow down your closet? If so, we’d love to hear!